Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reality Politics Takes Center Stage

Article first published as The Last Vestiges of the Old Republic Have Been Swept Away on Technorati.

With the announcement of Donald Trump as the moderator for a Republican presidential debate, it would appear that the last vestiges of the old republic have been swept away, to borrow a phrase from Star Wars. There has been considerable criticism of some GOP nominees for being--essentially--lightweights, for lacking in political acumen and intelligence. While that may be somewhat unfair, a debate moderated by The Donald will do little to improve the low-brow image many have of the GOP field.

Let's remember that Mr. Trump is a shameless self-promoter that has even gone as far to bet his hair against Vince McMahon's hair in a wrestling match. Of course, Linda McMahon did take a serious run at the Senate, so maybe it's also a little unfair to skewer the professional wrestling world. But Mr. Trump has also boasted of how he "screwed" Muammar Gadhafi (over a tent, of all things). And he made an international fool of himself by publicly pestering the President for his birth certificate.

Not exactly the resume of a well-informed political analyst with a serious mind, is it? And any extensive look into that resume will show it's not even one of a serious Republican, the Donald having been a staunch supporter of many powerful Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, and Rahm Emanuel. Couple that with the sit-com personality on display during The Apprentice and one has to wonder what the power-that-be in the GOP were thinking.

Is the goal of this debate publicity for the Republican candidates or to actually give them a chance to show the American people what they are all about and what sets them apart from each other? One would think it would be the latter, but given the choice of moderator, this seems far-fetched.

There's enough of this reality television out there, already. The pseudo-stars of these shows dominate news stores; not a day goes buy without some sort of Kardashian story in the news. And it would seem that becoming a reality star is the new thing to do, as opposed to getting an education or learning a trade. Do we really want to see the government go the same way? Instead of a primary, the Parties could pick their nominees via a television show, like The Bachelor or maybe The Biggest Loser.

Donald Trump brings nothing to this debate. He doesn't posses the skill set to handle it and his mere presence as moderator makes a mockery of the event. The candidates should have the good sense to step away from such vapid nonsense. And it looks like at least two of them do, as Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have now said they will not participate in a debate moderated by The Donald. Good for Representative Paul and Ambassador Huntsman. There are, indeed, at least two adults in the room. Neither one of them is Donald Trump.

Cheers, all.

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